NC-v2.2 EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning of the Building Energy Systems

  • NC22_EAc3andEAp1_Type3_EnhancedCx diagram
  • Benefits of commissioning

    You may think of commissioning, including hiring a commissioning agent, as an added cost—and it is. It’s likely to reduce your operational costs, however, by yielding 5%–10% improvements in energy efficiency and ensuring that facilities personnel know how to operate key building systems. It’s also a great way to catch mistakes like missing or incorrectly installed equipment, avoiding occupant complaints and callbacks, indoor air quality and thermal comfort problems, premature equipment failure, and litigation.

    Commissioning (Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included.) is the process of verifying that the building’s systems operate as intended and according to the owner’s requirements as set forth in project documents. Commissioning helps fill the gap between the design team, whose members usually aren’t meant to be responsible for checking minor construction details, and subcontractors, who may inadvertently err on key items like fan power settings or sensor locations. The commissioning agent (CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.) also  provides the owner with the expert oversight of an engineer.

    What is fundamental vs. enhanced commissioning?

    Fundamental Commissioning is a LEED prerequisite, although there are different compliance paths available depending on the project’s size. For projects less than 50,000 ft2, the CxA may be involved in the project as an associate of the contractor, construction manager, architect, or engineer and may have other project responsibilities. For projects over that size, the CxA may be still be from the same firm as a project team member, as long as he or she is not otherwise involved in the project. In both cases an independent consultant contracted to the owner is also an option, and may bring more value by offering better objectivity and  a different perspective than someone associated with the design team.

    Mechanical system imageCommissioning agents discovered that the triple-duty valve (in white circle) for this condenser water system serving a chiller and cooling tower was 80% closed. This inappropriate solution to an oversized pump was costing over $6,700 per year in wasted pumping energy. Courtesy Portland Energy Conservation, Inc.

    For the Enhanced Commissioning credit, an independent consultant is required to be the CxA. Enhanced commissioning can offer additional benefits by involving the CxA earlier during design (instead of at the bid stage), by requiring the CxA to develop an operations manual and verify that staff are trained with it, and by requiring the CxA to review operations within 8–10 months of substantial completion.

    Scope of commissioning

    Include at least the following in the scope of commissioning:

    • Heating, cooling, refrigeration, ventilation systems and controls
    • Lighting and daylighting controls
    • Domestic hot water systems
    • Renewable energy systems

    Choosing enhanced or fundamental commissioning

    LEED divides the commissioning process into two parts, with the commissioning process for both enhanced and fundamental starting at or before design documents. Fundamental commissioning focuses on installation and verification of the mechanical and electrical systems during construction. Enhanced commissioning covers a broader scope of systems, and involves broader participation of the CxA, beginning during construction documents and continuing through occupancy.

    The Enhanced Commissioning credit is open to any project, but project teams often choose not to pursue it due to the increased cost and uncertainty around its benefits. Enhanced  commissioning fees are typically $0.90–$1.20/ft2 for LEED-NC and LEED for Schools projects. These fees represent a 25%–40% cost increase over fundamental commissioning, while providing almost double the scope of work. All projects benefit with enhanced commissioning, though it can be more obvious for large or more complex projects. Projects can choose to make the decision for pursuing enhanced until after receiving the bid proposal, in order to evaluate the actual cost, but should hire a commissioning agent by the end of design development for enhanced commissioning.

    Scope of work for LEED Commissioning credits

  • FAQs for EAp1

    For a building with individual systems per unit, does every single system need to be commissioned?

    ASHRAE Guideline 0 and 1 provides information about the use of sampling in such a case to balance commissioning rigor with cost-effectiveness.

    Can the CxA authority be a member of the design or construction team?

    For fundamental commissioning and project area less than 50,000 ft2, the commissioning agent can be an employee of the design or construction firm. For enhanced commissioning and projects larger than 50,000 ft2, CxA must be independent of both teams. The CxA must be appointed by the Owner.

    What type of certification is the commissioning agent required to have?

    USGBC does not require any certifications at this time. The commissioning agent must demonstrate experience on two prior projects.

    What level of authority does the CxA have towards correcting inaccurate or erroneous construction?

    The CxA cannot directly authorize construction change orders or changes to the design documents. The commissioning agent’s responsibility is to inform the project Owner of findings and their effect on building performance. The Owner will choose a proper course of action.

    The comissioning process turned up a few issues with the commissioned systems that should be corrected. Do we have to correct these issues and include documentation of that as part of our LEED documentation?

    According to GBCI, any significant issues uncovered during the commissioning process should be noted in the required commissioning report. A narrative and/or supporting documentation must be provided to summarize the corrected issues and outline any outstanding issues, as well as include detailed information on the plan for correcting any outstanding issues. However, evidence that the follow-up was completed and systems corrected is not be required.

    Our project is considering LEED after construction has begun. Can we meet the EAp1 requirements and thus be eligible for LEED certification?

    Maybe. LEED Interpretations #2389 issued 1/23/2009,  #2401 issued 2/9/2009, and #5277 issued 9/18/2007 all speak to this, and projects in this situation should review them for details. Some projects have been able to “fast track” fundamental commissioning, while other projects may be too far along.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Owners' Project Requirements (OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project.) are developed and signed off on by the owner with assistance from the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements., or developed by the CxA for owner approval. The OPR works as the guideline to develop a design that meets the owner’s requirements. See the Documentation Toolkit for a template and sample OPR


  • Spray painted photocell.In commissioning a new facility, the commissioning agent discovered that this outdoor photocell controlling the exterior and parking lot lighting had been sprayed with paint and did not function properly. Courtesy Portland Energy Conservation, Inc.The project will benefit from the Owner’s active role in developing the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. with specific goals for energy efficiency and other systems. Owners often find it helpful to state goals in terms of a minimum acceptable level and a specified payback period, for example, “The building is aimed to save 20% energy as compared to a code compliant building with a total payback of less than 5 years. Our goal is to provide a comfortable space with user controlled lighting and ventilation to minimize waste and maximize comfort. The operations and maintenance staff are to be aware and able to support the intent of smooth controls. Owners typically work with the architects to put the project goals on paper. Revisiting meeting notes from initial project discussions can be helpful in assimilating client goals.


  • Commissioning generates an average savings of 28 percent of predicted annual energy use, according to the 2004 study, “The Cost-Effectiveness of Commissioning New and Existing Commercial Buildings: Lessons from 224 Buildings.” (See Resources.)


  • The cost of fundamental commissioning services may vary from $0.35/ft2 to $0.75/ft2 depending on project type, variety of uses, complexity of systems and location of the project to name a few parameters. You may find it most helpful to get multiple proposal of fees and compare the scope to make sure everything required by LEED is covered without additional tasks.

Schematic Design

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  • Develop the Basis of Design (BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines.), working with the design team, including at least the architect, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers with lighting designer. Along with the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project., the BOD facilitates constant discussion on realistic owner’s goals and the team’s input in addressing them. The architect, owner, and engineer update the OPR and BOD throughout the project to maintain accuracy for the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements., and they are used as benchmarks during cost estimating and value engineering. The BOD also has a general role in project development, beyond its use in commissioning requirements. Items like water conservation, renewable energy and indoor air comfort goals should be included although it is not a common practice. See the Documentation Toolkit for a template and sample BOD.


  • Projects with district energy systems must commission, for the prerequisite, all “downstream” equipment—systems installed for the building’s use and included in the project costs. Downstream equipmentDownstream equipment consists of all heating or cooling systems, equipment, and controls located within the project building and site associated with transporting thermal energy into heated or cooled spaces. This includes the thermal connection or interface with the district energy system, secondary distribution systems in the building, and terminal units. may include air handling units, variable-air-volume (VAVVariable Air Volume (VAV) is an HVAC conservation feature that supplies varying quantities of conditioned (heated or cooled) air to different parts of a building according to the heating and cooling needs of those specific areas.) boxes, duct work, pumps, controls and fans. “Upstream” district energy equipment, such as chillers, boilers, cogenerationThe simultaneous production of electric and thermal energy in on-site, distributed energy systems; typically, waste heat from the electricity generation process is recovered and used to heat, cool, or dehumidify building space. Neither generation of electricity without use of the byproduct heat, nor waste-heat recovery from processes other than electricity generation is included in the definition of cogeneration. equipment and other components of a district heating and cooling plant that serve the project building may need to be commissioned for the Enhanced Commissioning credit.


  • Making project intent clear and specific in writing the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. and BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. pays off in numerous ways. The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. is better able to accurately bid on the job, and better establish a clear commissioning plan. The more vague the project goals, the less effective commissioning presence will be.


  • The architect, mechanical and electrical engineer, and lighting designer describe the standards, goals and performance levels of the designed building systems in the BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines..


  • The owner can include additional building systems in the commissioning scope, such as the building envelope, fire and safety systems, and water collection systems.


  • Financial incentives for energy efficiency, including commissioning as an integral component may be offered by state and local agencies. For example, New York State pays a portion of a commissioning agent fees and provides further incentives if some energy efficiency recommendations are implemented. See Resources for more information on incentives.


  • Commissioning costs per square foot for multifamily or similar buildings may be higher than open-floor commercial spaces due to the number of systems to be installed and the higher sampling rate of commissioned systems.


  • Payback may be faster for commissioning of systems-intensive facilities such as healthcare facilities and laboratories. A lot can go wrong in the complex controls and building management systems in these facilities, and because of the level of energy consumption involved, those mistakes can be expensive. Commissioning activities like testing and balancing, functional performance testingThe process of determining the ability of the commissioned systems to perform in accordance with the owner's project requirements, basis of design (BOD), and construction documents., and sequence verification are particularly useful here while enhanced commissioning activities of staff training verification and manual development highly valuable.


  • If properly implemented, commissioning will pay for itself within a year of operation, or even during design.  Savings are likely to be realized from:

    •   Reduction or elimination of change orders
    •   Reduction or elimination of requests for information
    •   Proper system and component selection
    •   Improved performance.

Design Development

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  • ASHRAE Guideline 0 and most commissioning guidelines and process handbooks suggest hiring a CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. before the MEP engineer, if possible, in order to kick off the commissioning process at the beginning of the project, and ensuring the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. is adhered to throughout design development. However, most RFP processes for commissioning agent begin after the architect and MEP engineer have been hired. The RFP process should involve the architect and mechanical engineer to be sure that it accurately reflects the project’s requirements. The mechanical engineer lists all the building systems equipment to be commissioned and identifies the required sampling rates in the RFP. If the systems are not yet defined, a description of the mechanical design direction would be included in the project intent and RFP.


  • Request that proposals provide fee breakdowns for fundamental and enhanced commissioning. This would allow the owner to know the cost differential between the services and consider enhanced commissioning.


  • The CxA’s main role is to provide third-party verification that the design is installed and operating as per construction documents. The CxA is not meant to fill the role of the MEP engineer, but rather to be a technical expert in the owner’s team. It is in the owner’s or client best interest to hire a CxA by design development and introduce the project goals, team and schedule.


  • Although the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. is not expected to deliver much during design, the presence of the CxA in the team meetings and drawings development is more integrated into the process. The team also gets to learn more about the commissioning activities and tailor the drawings based on what the CxA is looking for during document review.


  • Early hiring and meeting attendance by the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. during Enhanced Commissioning may be perceived as high cost, but should allow reduced on-site presence during construction and reduced errors during design and installation. It facilitates a preventive rather than reactive involvement.


  • Choose your CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements., depending on the size of your project, the owner's preferences, and whether you are attempting the enhanced credit or simply the prerequisite.
 

    Who can the the Commissioning Agent?


  • An independent consultant, as compared to one from the same firm as the design team, is in the best position to truly represent the owner’s interests during design and construction, including installation of key systems. As commissioning agents are often experienced mechanical engineers, they can provide input into the project design and any recommendations on improved project efficiency.

     

    Commissioning Authority QualificationsFrom the LEED Reference Guide ©USGBC


  • Enhanced commissioning fees are typically 20%-30% more than fundamental commissioning while providing double the benefits. The return on investment is substantially more when the commissioning agent is involved early and is committed to revisit the project in operation.


  • Include commissioning costs during initial project budgeting to avoid later surprises.

Construction Documents

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  • Incorporate commissioning specifications in Division 1 for general information and commissioning notes into mechanical and electrical specifications. See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample specification.


  • The commissioning agent develops a commissioning plan based on the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project., BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. and commissioning meeting. The commissioning plan works as the guidebook of commissioning for the rest of the team. It demystifies the process and lists the responsibilities of the design and construction team. The plan discusses the roles of key team members, includes the latest versions of the OPR and BOD, specifies system sampling rates, anticipates pitfalls, and provides a commissioning schedule. In addition, the commissioning agent provides a general commissioning schedule based on the design and construction schedule that may or may not be defined at that moment.


  • A good commissioning specification clarifies subcontractor responsibilities associated with verification and testing. Doing so eliminates any potential change orders associated with “extra” work required for systems commissioning.


  • Dedicate a project team meeting to commissioning process to review each team member’s role and scope and to ensure they know what is required for LEED certification.


  • Specifications need to include commission details. If the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. is not on board by this point, refer to standard commissioning specifications to ensure it is included in the bid package.


  • Refer to the commissioning plan regularly throughout the project to understand the roles and responsibilities of all team members relative to completing a quality project. It is a valuable document and is regularly under-utilized. Additionally, the commissioning plan should be updated to include contractor information and a more specific and accurate scope once equipment has been selected during the design phase (if previously not defined).


  • Specifications eliminate potential change orders associated with “extra” work required for systems commissioning by sub contractors. These specifications inform the commissioning agent’s responsibility and how it will impact the sub-contractors presence on site. Poorly written specifications that do not include details would leave uncertainties and gaps in contractor’s expectations.

Construction

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  • CxA with air handling unit.A CxA checks filter placement on a newly installed air handling unit. YRG PhotoThe CxA stays abreast of construction progress by attending at least some meetings and receiving updates. As equipment is installed, the CxA verifies installation of equipment to be commissioned, and performs functional testing in collaboration with subcontractors, including running the duct system under performance specifications and ensuring that they are balanced as required. The CxA runs the heating and cooling systems to ensure there are no installation problems, and the subcontractor corrects any defects or leaks.


  • Normal subcontractor testing can often be performed in coordination with commissioning.  Proper coordination of these activities can reduce total commissioning time and reduce system problems. The commissioning process may require additional coordination time for subcontractors, which can result in additional contract costs. During the construction team bidding phase, include Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. coordination (at a minimum) in the scope of the mechanical, electrical and controls subcontractors.


  • The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. develops a commissioning report for the owner and project team including reports on all visits, observations and recommendations. A Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. Report is the final deliverable. It lists all of the activities carried out, testing results and recommendations. Typical recommendations may refer to misbalanced vents, incorrect fan power, incorrect system sizing, dampers not present where specified, and incorrectly installed switches. The CxA is available for a final meeting and to discuss all recommendations for clarifications. Note that the commissioning process is not completed until all open items or deficiencies have been corrected or accepted by the owner. Finally, the CxA completes the LEED Online documentation and uploads all required documents.


  • The commissioning agent’s involvement in team meetings, both in pre-construction and construction, provides the subcontractors the chance to understand the role, tasks and expectations of a CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.. Construction teams benefit from learning how the commissioning activities help their job, decrease their onsite presence by taking responsibility for quality control, and reduce contractors’ liability. For example, a malfunctioning air vent, if not commissioned, will eventually be found after months of fault finding and may cause out of pocket expenses for the sub-contractor.


  • Functional testing, in which the whole system, and depending on scope, individual components are tested, is a critical part of commissioning. Observations range from larger scale to very basic, such as diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. supplying more than 10% of the recommended fan rate, outside air enthalpy sensor placed in a return air flow instead of supply flow, or incorrect temperature sensor settings.


  • LEED documentation can be submitted prior to the final commissioning report being completed, including verification of commissioned systems. A contract to complete these items is sufficient.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. develops commissioning report including all testing and observations. A Commissioning Report is the final deliverable for the commissioning prerequisite. It lists all the activities carried out, testing results and recommendations. The CxA is available for a final meeting and to discuss all recommendations for clarifications.


  • LEED compliance does not require the implementation of commissioning report recommendations, but after having paid the commissioning exercise, not implementing the recommendations would be a waste of money.


  • Commissioning agent with BAS metersThe commissioning agent checks the meters installed on the building monitoring system. YRG PhotoCommissioning supports a smooth transition from design into operations by avoiding future change orders. It ensures the equipment is installed per manufacturer’s instructions and aligned with the design intentA written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project.. It reduces waste of energy and money due to incorrect control settings or system settings that aren’t fully optimized.


  • If pursuing EQc7.2: Thermal Comfort—Verification, including a user survey on thermal comfort issues, the results can be discussed with the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. to identify any problems. The user survey can be scheduled before the CxA visits to get the results available on time. 

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations Version 2.2

    EA Prerequisite 1: Fundamental commissioning of the building energy systems

    Required

    Intent

    Verify that the building’s energy related systems are installed, calibrated and perform according to the owner’s project requirements, basis of design, and construction documents.

    Benefits of Commissioning

    Benefits of commissioning include reduced energy use, lower operating costs, reduced contractor callbacks, better building documentation, improved occupant productivity, and verification that the systems perform in accordance with the owner’s project requirements.

    Requirements

    The following commissioning process activities shall be completed by the commissioning team, in accordance with the LEED for New Construction 2.2 Reference Guide.

    1. Designate an individual as the Commissioning Authority (CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.) to lead, review and oversee the completion of the commissioning process activities.
      1. The CxA shall have documented commissioning authority experience in at least two building projects.
      2. The individual serving as the CxA shall be independent of the project’s design and construction management, though they may be employees of the firms providing those services. The CxA may be a qualified employee or consultant of the Owner.
      3. The CxA shall report results, findings and recommendations directly to the Owner.
      4. For projects smaller than 50,000 gross square feet, the CxA may include qualified persons on the design or construction teams who have the required experience.
    2. The Owner shall document the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project.). The design team shall develop the Basis of Design (BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines.). The CxA shall review these documents for clarity and completeness. The Owner and design team shall be responsible for updates to their respective documents.
    3. Develop and incorporate commissioning requirements into the construction documents.
    4. Develop and implement a commissioning plan.
    5. Verify the installation and performance of the systems to be commissioned.
    6. Complete a summary commissioning report.
    Commissioned systems

    Commissioning process activities shall be completed for the following energy-related systems, at a minimum:

    • Heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems (mechanical and passive) and associated controls
    • Lighting and daylighting controls
    • Domestic hot water systems
    • Renewable energy systems (wind, solar etc.)

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Owners are encouraged to seek out qualified individuals to lead the commissioning process. Qualified individuals are identified as those who possess a high level of experience in the following areas:

    • Energy systems design, installation and operation
    • Commissioning planning and process management
    • Hands-onfieldexperiencewithenergysystemsperformance,interaction,start-up,balancing,testing,trouble- shooting, operation, and maintenance procedures
    • Energy systems automation control knowledge

    Owners are encouraged to consider including water-using systems, building envelope systems, and other systems in the scope of the commissioning plan as appropriate. The building envelope is an important component of a facility which impacts energy consumption, occupant comfort and indoor air quality. While it is not required to be commissioned by LEED, an owner can receive significant financial savings and reduced risk of poor indoor air quality by including building envelope commissioning.

    The LEED for New Construction 2.2 Reference Guide provides guidance on the rigor expected for this prereq- uisite for the following:

    • Owner’s project requirements ␣ 
    • Basis of design ␣ 
    • Commissioning plan ␣ 
    • Commissioning specification ␣ 
    • Performance verification documentation 
    • Commissioning report

Publications

Best Practices in Commissioning New Construction

The New Construction Building Commissioning Best Practice is intended to cover the general new construction commissioning process that is applicable to most systems. It is necessarily non-specific in most cases, but where a practice seems unclear by its varied application, more detail is given.


Best Practices in Commissioning Existing Buildings

Published by the Building Commissioning Association, this report draws on a number of sets of guidelines to identify the key phases of the commissioning process, and provides a glossary of terms.


Costs and Benefit of Commissioning New and Existing Commercial Buildings

This presentation-format overview of commissioning looks at the reasons for and scope of commissioning, with a focus on the potential for cost savings and avoiding problems.


Stay On-line: Data Center Commissioning

An ASHRAE Journal article, this examines the special challenges of ensuring reliability in mission-critical systems supporting facilities such as data centers. (Mark Hydeman, Reinhard Seidl and Charles Shalley, 2005)


Establishing Commissioning Costs

Offering guidance for estimating commissioning costs during the design and construction phases of a project, this article addresses LEED requirements and special circumstances that can affect the cost of commissioning. (Portland Energy Conservation, 2000; revised 2002)


The Cost-Effectiveness of Commissioning New and Existing Building Commercial Buildings: Lessons from 224 Buildings

A meta-analysis of studies of a large sample of commissioned buildings, this paper, which is concerned with national-level energy goals, was presented at the 2005 National Conference on Building Commissioning, and is a shorter form of a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.


ASHRAE Journal, February 2000: Establishing Commissioning Fees

This article, featured in ASHRAE Journal, February 2000, reviews the costs associated with commissioning of new building mechanical and electrical systems, using data from 19 facilities. Its purpose is to provide a means to estimate and justify commissioning costs.

Technical Guides

Whole Building Design Guide (Building Commissioning Association)

This webpage provides an overview of commissioning drivers, benefits, goals, and principles and general commissioning guides, standards, and resources.


Applications Team, Energy-Efficiency Design Applications: Measurement & Verification Documents

This website provides a list of resources to help teams implement an M&V program, the content ranges from guidelines to checklists.


International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol, Volume I

IPMVPThe International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) provides best-practice protocol for measurement and verification of new construction. This standard is referenced in LEED's measurement and verification credits. is the standard in which this credit is based on and these documents should be used in designing the M&V system and plan.


ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process

This technical guideline was put together by technical committees at ASHRAE.


International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol, Volume III

IPMVPThe International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) provides best-practice protocol for measurement and verification of new construction. This standard is referenced in LEED's measurement and verification credits. is the standard in which this credit is based on and these documents should be used in designing the M&V system and plan.


Building Commissioning Handbook, 2nd Edition

The handbook on best practices to follow during commissioning is published by the Building Commissioning Association.


M&V Guidelines: Measurement and Verification for Federal Energy Projects

These M&V guidelines are written for federal buildings but could be helpful for many projects.

Web Tools

Cx Assistant

A commissioning tool from Energy Design Resources that can estimate costs and develop sample scopes, design intentA written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. documents, BODs, and specifications.


California Commissioning Collaborative

The CCC develops cost effective programs, tools, techniques and a service delivery infrastructure to encourage the use of the building commissioning process in new and existing buildings.


Establishing Commissioning Fees

This article, which appeared in the ASHRAE Journal, uses data for 19 actual projects to look at commissioning costs in various ways. (Ronald J. Wilkinson, 2000)


Commissioning Toolkit for Small Buildings

A free resource from the State of California, with commiissioning templates you can use.

Organizations

Building Commissioning Association

The Building Commissioning Association makes available a number of publications on commissioning.


Oregon Department of Energy, Conservation Division

The Oregon Dept. of Energy has assembled commissioning case studies of a number of Oregon buildings.


The National Environmental Balancing Bureau

NEBB offers publications, seminars, and certification of commissioning agents.


The AABC Commissioning Group

AABC offers training and certification of commissioning agents and publishes Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. Journal.

Owner's Project Requirements (OPR)

The OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. works as the guideline in development of a design that meets the owner’s requirements.

Commissioning Agents

Use these templates to find and assess a commissioning agent for your project.

Commissioning Specifications

Incorporate commissioning specifications into Division 1.

Commissioning Plan

The commissioning plan works as the guidebook for commissioning, discussing the roles of key team members, and providing a commissioning schedule, among other requirements.

Commissioning Report

The commissioning report is the final deliverable from the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements., including reports on all visits, observations and recommendations.

Basis of Design (BOD)

Prepared by the design team, the BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. explains through narrative and documentation how the proposed design meets the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project..

Construction Submittal

HardhatDocumentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.

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Donald Green Project Manager Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC
Aug 20 2014
LEEDuser Member
1136 Thumbs Up

EAp1

We have been asked to help a project Owner with their certification. The Owner conducted the Commissioning in house however the person who did it left their organization and did not document the commissioning. They also cannot find any information... The question is can the Owner perform the Commissioning (or retro-commissioning) after occupancy has taken place? It has been at least 2 years.

The LEED v2.2 Reference Guide does not address when the Commissioning can take place just that it is best prior to occupancy.

Thank you,

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Mohamed Ravuthar, LEED AP, BD+C LEED Engineer Contrack International Inc
Sep 18 2013
Guest
943 Thumbs Up

LEED Cx -Eap1

The contractor has appointed one company for the commissioning and the same company will act as a LEED Commissioning Authority for EAp1. Is it acceptable by LEED?
Please clarify ,who can be a LEED cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. Authority?

LEED Cx Authority cant not be part of design & construction.. but can be any other person from the same firm...?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Mohamed, the requirements for the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. are discussed above and in the LEED Reference Guide. 

It is common for the same firm to do commissioning for the whole project, for both credit and prerequisite.

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Bob Crowell Vice President / Principal 2rw Consultants, Inc.
May 14 2013
LEEDuser Member
26 Thumbs Up

Design Build Contractual Question- EAc3

We have recently been contracted by the Architect on a design-build major renovation project. The client is directly contracted with the architect until DD documents upon which the A/E contract is transferred to the builders contract.

The 2006 LEED reference document "who can be the commissioning Authority" says that the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. can be a disinterested subcontractor to the A/E but does this still apply when the A/E is a sub to the Builder?
-Thanks

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group May 31 2013 LEEDuser Expert 7132 Thumbs Up

Bob,

Design building has been discussed on the NC and CS 2009 pages. I'd recommend doing a word search over there. Here is a link to one of those discussions: http://www.leeduser.com/credit/CS-2009/EAp1?page=0#comment-28229

Your case does seem a little different if your company didn't do the design with the Architect through DD. It would seem to be more plausible if the Architect just recommended you to the client and your contract be through the client directly.

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Veronica Reed Founder SDSARCH CIA. LTDA.
Feb 13 2013
LEEDuser Member
242 Thumbs Up

What codes or standards for Fundamental Commissioning

Hello, we are working on the sustainable design and LEED documentation of the passenger terminal building for the Galapagos Islands. We have a commissioning agent with vast experience in airport projects, and all portions OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project., BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. and other documents were developed by each party (owner, architect, subcontractors for energy systems, HVAc engineer, others), however in the documents various standards are mentioned in different sections and may appear in some documents but not in others, or on some NO standards are mentioned. It might be that we are making things more difficult, so can someone provide information on codes or standards that the fundamental commissioning process must comply to?, or can we have all documents follow the adequate process and development without any specific standard?

I have diverse documents listed on various pieces of information I have used to guide me through document preparation such as the following "section 17100", "section 18000", "section 15997", can anyone confirm if there is one standard to be fulfilled or can we pick one?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Veronica, I'm not aware of a single standard that says what commissioning should consist of. It is likely that you would need to review a variety of documents (including some of those linked to in our guidance above and in the Resources tab) to get a full picture.

If my answer is vague -- I apologize. Please try again with a more specific question.

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Tiffany Moore LEED Documentation Consultant Built Kansas City LLC
Dec 10 2012
LEEDuser Member
864 Thumbs Up

Who can perform functional testing?

The reviewer on a small v2.2 project (approx. 5000 sq ft) noted that it wasn't clear if two systems had been fully commissioned. We have the opportunity to go back and complete functional testing before the final review. This project is remotely located, so the project team is carefully considering who should/could perform the testing.

I've read a lot of material and have come to the conclusion that our qualified CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. should establish the testing procedures for each of the systems, but a locally-available professional familiar with the systems (such as an electrician) could perform the testing and provide the completed documentation to the CxA who would complete the recommendations and narrative.

This process would allow the functional testing to occurr without excessive travel on the part of the CxA. Does anyone have an opinion on whether this meet the requirements for EAp1 and EAc3?

As always, thanks for your input.

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David Hubka Director of Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Dec 11 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4621 Thumbs Up

Hello Tiffany.
The LEED Online template for Fundamental Commissioning requires the Commissioning Authority to upload an exucutive summary of the commissioning report. This must include a list of systems commissioned (and by whom). So per the LEED Online template it does not appear that the Commissioning Authority is required to perform the actual testing, however it is highly recommended the testing be performed by a third party rather than the installing contractors.
Hope this helps!

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Matt Napolitan Principal Cx Associates
Jun 29 2012
Guest
53 Thumbs Up

Additional Systems Commissioning

We are Cxing a manufacturing facility and, in the middle of construction, the owner has asked us to Cx some of the manufacturing specific equipment. The project is pursuing enhanced Cx and we would be unable to perform design or submittal reviews on this equipment.

The HVAC, lighting and DHWDomestic hot water (DHW) is water used for food preparation, cleaning and sanitation and personal hygiene, but not heating. systems have all been inculded in the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. and BoDBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. and have undergone design review and submittal review. If we Cx the manufacturing equipment is it required to meet all the stipulations for LEED enhanced?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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David Hubka Director of Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Jul 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4621 Thumbs Up

Equipment not specifically required to be included per EAp1 is not required to adhere to the commissioning requirements of EAc3.

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Lawrence Lile Chief Engineer Lile Engineering LLC
Apr 24 2012
LEEDuser Member
1620 Thumbs Up

CxA without site visits

I've been invited to propose on a commissioning project, but told that I wouldn't do any site visits. I am a little nervous about saying yes to this. I don't see a specific requirement for a site visit in the LEED fundamental or enhanced docs, however it is unusual. Can Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. be done by remote control?

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jun 09 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7132 Thumbs Up

Lawrence
Two problems I have with not visiting the site:
(1) The intent of the credit: "Verify that the building’s energy related systems are installed, calibrated and perform according to the owner’s project requirements, basis of design, and construction documents." - Are you verifying or taking someone else's word for it?
(2) The credit language: "1) Designate an individual as the Commissioning Authority (CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.) to lead, review and oversee the completion of the commissioning process activities." - Are you leading, reviewing and overseeing when you are remote?
IMO you aren't satisfying the credit intent or credit language. You are right to be hesitant.

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Josh Mauldin ASA Architects
Jan 16 2012
Guest
209 Thumbs Up

CxA Contracts

I'm working on a small 2009 NC project, Fundamental only. The owner wants us, the architects, to hire the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. through our contract, but the contract will be signed with the owner. This seems odd to me, but since they are similar to a sub-consultant to the architect and under our direction, are they independent enough?

How do others manage these CxA contracts?

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Feb 03 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7132 Thumbs Up

Josh,
This is common. Typically the owner will only want to hire and pay one party (the architect) and have that party do all the logistics of hiring the subs. This is at the owners discretion. IMO the owner would be best served to directly contract the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. but it is not required.

There is no mention in the reference book (perhaps check the CIRs) about who needs to sign the contracts. So LEED shouldn't have a problem.

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Natalie Tan
Jan 02 2012
Guest
187 Thumbs Up

Commissioning for overseas projects

Hi, we have a small USGBC LEED-NC project (400m2) in Kuwait where the Owner wants us (LEED Consultancy firm in Canada) to hire a commissioning agent (as the "brain") in canada to oversee the commissioning site work there (as the "eyes"). The Commissioning Agent here would prepare all OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. and BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines., and the site person would simply follow instructions and document.

Is this a practical suggestion? Any advice from past experiences will be extremely helpful.

Thanks, Natalie

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 17 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Natalie, I am not a CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. and so I can't comment in that regard. But this would make me a bit nervous. I think a lot of quality control on construction sites is being there as the brain and eyes together. Maybe with the right people it could work, but it could also be a nightmare that doesn't meet anyone's goals.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Feb 17 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7132 Thumbs Up

I would agree with Tristan.

When we have projects on the East Coast or Hawaii we send our commissioning team to the sites to do the commissioning in person.

Consider doing the enhanced CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. tasks such as peer review, submittal review and BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines./OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. review in Canada. Then select a competent CxA agent in Kuwait or sent a crew to Kuwait for a few days. A small 400m2 project could likely be commissioned quickly, as long as the construction stays on schedule and is complete when they arrive.

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Karen Joslin principal, Joslin Consulting Apr 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 1764 Thumbs Up

My biggest concern would be that the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. should never prepare either of those documents, really. They are for the CxA to compare to see if the proposed design would meet the owner's expectations. Whatever was used to describe the project to the designers would become the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project., but the BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. is actually an MEP design narrative that only the design engineer should write. The FPT could conceivably be performed remotely with specific checklists and guidance and the party doing the spot checks reporting back to the CxA.

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Lawrence Lile Chief Engineer, Lile Engineering LLC Apr 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 1620 Thumbs Up

The original post may have meant that the Canada CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. is only responsible for coordinating and managing the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. and BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines., rather than actually writing them. However, it is the case that these documents need to be written by the Owner and the Designer, respectively, if Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. is done properly. I usually send a template to them, to make their job easier, with leading questions such as "What is the expected number of employees?" 'What are the hours that the facility will be used?" "What are desires regarding energy efficiency of mechanical systems? What is the budget for the project? etc etc.

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Lawrence Lile Chief Engineer, Lile Engineering LLC Apr 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 1620 Thumbs Up

There is something of a problem doing Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. by remote control. I have a similar problem, posted above, although all of it is Stateside, and I am leaning toward doing at least one final site inspection in person as the Cx. I'd like to hear other's experience on this aspect of the question.

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Jessica Bristow Independent Contractor OPN Architects
Nov 14 2011
Guest
194 Thumbs Up

Lighting commissioning for EAp1 only

Our project is only performing the fundamental commissioning, not the enhanced commissioning.
We had a professional third-party agency perform all of the commissioning except the lighting and daylighting controls. The manufacturer's representative for the lighting controls system performed this commissioning and instructed the owner who signed off on the system achieving their goals.
Do you think this is acceptable or is it a conflict of interest? Do we need to have someone else come back and commission these systems?

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Jessica Bristow Independent Contractor, OPN Architects Nov 14 2011 Guest 194 Thumbs Up

It should also be noted that this project is only 16,000 SF.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 17 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

I would be interested in hearing other perspectives on this, Jessica, but it does sound like a conflict of interest to me. However, the LEED rules for smaller projects are less strict so maybe it would fly.

It's been a while since you posted this -- did you make any decisions?

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jun 09 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7132 Thumbs Up

It seems like a conflict of interest but in the Reference Guide it states that the functional testing of systems can even be conducted by the contractor. That sounds like self policing to me. But the credit language only states that the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. should "Lead, review and oversee the completion of the commissioning process activities."
IMO if the CxA watches the functional testing/commissioning done by someone else more familiar with the systems installed that would be acceptable.

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William Eisler Mechanical Designer RE Dimond and Associates, Inc.
Aug 31 2011
Guest
34 Thumbs Up

Documentation For Fundamental Commissioning

I cannot tell if the actual OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project., BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines., or Commissioning plan are all required to be submitted with this prerequisite by reading the LEED NC 2.2 literature. Is this the case? Or is the narrative in the credit template the only required documentation?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Sep 08 2011 LEEDuser Expert 6239 Thumbs Up

I probably over document, but I always upload all of these documents. In v2009, they seem to be heading to less material for Fundamental, but more for Enhanced.

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Diane Stevens
Jun 20 2011
Guest
117 Thumbs Up

2 Commisioning agents - one for design and one for testing

We are wondering what the thoughts are in regards to having one commissioning agent for the design portion and then a different agent to do the actual testing? Has anyone had this or a similar scenario? Thanks for your thoughts.

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Susann Geithner Global Sustainability Manager, Predictive Service Jun 21 2011 LEEDuser Member 11965 Thumbs Up

In general the CA should be the same throughout. If you also do enhanced commissioning, you will have to have the same CA for both (see also reference guide page 221, table 2, footnote #4) as for just fundamental commissioning you can have some tasks performed by others (owner, design team), but in the design phase the review of OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. and BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. needs to be with the CA (see reference guide page 220, table1). So it really depends on what exactly the one vs the other is doing. I would be very careful in drawing the line between on and the other. Actually I really would not recommend having different CAs doing that. It will probably up the costs since both parties will need time to get familiar with the building and your project team will have to meet and answer questions twice.

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Diane Stevens Jun 29 2011 Guest 117 Thumbs Up

SInce I asked this question we have had our commissioning agent quit his company active immediately. So the CA that was in the middle of the testing is now no longer available. We're trying to see if someone else in the company can continue but not sure anyone else has the experience. Regardless we won't have the same person that started the process finishing the process. Has anyone run into this scenario? We are trying to figure out what to do. Thanks.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Sep 08 2011 LEEDuser Expert 6239 Thumbs Up

First, we have had a couple of projects where there has been an attempt to have two commissining firms involved, one for the Enhanced and one for the Fundamental. Susann, I do not think it is as clear as indicated that this CANNOT be done. However, I agree that it SHOULD not be done. I have tried on several ocassions to pin GBCI down on this, with little success.

We do have two projects proceeding in this mannor, but neither has gone through certification. Our warning to the team is that while fundamental should be fine, there might be problems with enhanced.

Diane, to your last question, we have had people leave the firm in the middle of a Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. project, that happens, people move. We assign a new CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. that has requisite experiance, they review the material and then take over. We do not "purge" the previous CxA or anything like that, and we also inform GBCI in the submittal narrative. We have not had a problem with this, we had one person leave, but they were doing two Cx projects. Both were handled this way, and both were certified.

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Susann Geithner Global Sustainability Manager, Predictive Service Sep 08 2011 LEEDuser Member 11965 Thumbs Up

I understand that this circumstances with the CA leaving the company are unusual and I think that the GBCI might allow the team to just go on with a differnt person, but according to the rules, that not allowed. The USGBC published guideline for "How can be the Commissioning Authority" http://bit.ly/nB3jpe see footnote #4 " The “all” in the Enhanced Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. Requirement 1 means if one is seeking the Enhanced Cx credit, the same CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.
overseeing the Enhanced Cx tasks must also oversee the Fundamental Commissioning tasks." The reference guide for LEED 2009 is even more specific.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Sep 17 2011 LEEDuser Expert 6239 Thumbs Up

Susann, I am going to disagree with you a little. The document you reference and the footnote is describing a scope of work and responsibly. The document specifically talks about “employee” and “subcontractor”, what I feel means “person” or “firm”. They also specifically use the term “oversee”. Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. is a team sport, we use several people during a larger commissioning project based on the need at the time. While we have one person that is designated as the CxAuthority for the project, we also use several CxAgents that have special expertise. For a Professional Engineer, of which we use for our Cx practice, it would not be appropriate for a mechanical to do a complex electrical emergency generator system. We also have specialists in chilled water plants, boiler plants, steam, DI water systems, audio/visual, etc. That is how we bring value to the process, the expertise both in design and commissioning of these different systems.

The v2009 is more specific (as you note) mentioning an individual as the CxAuthority, but then says they are to direct the Cx “team”, so the expectation of more people being involved than one in the process.

We definitely assign one person to be the CxAuthority that we intend to take the project from beginning to end, but we cannot force people to stay either. We have controls and processes in place that allow someone else to step in and take over to complete the project, with assurance of the level of rigor executed to that point, as well as internal quality assurance we go through. And fortunately this does not happen very often.

Now, if in this case an individual is doing the work and stops, or the company they leave does not have other qualified people, then I think a discussion with GBCI on how a new person is brought on, and what steps there might be to review what has been done to date, perhaps with some spot checking, some method of completing the project should be possible.

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Alicja Bieszyńska Skanska
May 06 2011
LEEDuser Member
1061 Thumbs Up

Commissioning Authority's LEED experience

I was told by one of my colleagues, who is experienced in LEED projects, that a Commissioning Authority shall have documented Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. experience in at least two LEED certified building projects. Does it really need to be LEED building or just a random building with advanced energy systems, etc? I haven't seen the "LEED" word in the manual, that's why I'm surprised...
Please advice!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 19 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

You are correct—the projects do not have to be LEED.

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Frances Yang
May 04 2011
LEEDuser Member
564 Thumbs Up

FPTs during occupancy?

Is it acceptable for functional performance testingThe process of determining the ability of the commissioned systems to perform in accordance with the owner's project requirements, basis of design (BOD), and construction documents. to be done after the building is occupied?

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David Hubka Director of Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Jun 04 2011 LEEDuser Expert 4621 Thumbs Up

It is recommended to be performed prior to occupancy but can be performed during occupancy and still achieve the prerequisite.

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debra a. lombard sustainability specialist, Sustainability Research & Consulting Jun 07 2012 Guest 207 Thumbs Up

Hi David,

How do you know that if it's performed during occupancy then it can still achieve EA prereq1? I have such a project under LEED NC v2.2 and that was not what i concluded. it's small 32K Sf and construction's 75% complete and no Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. done yet. thanks!!
Debra

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jun 09 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7132 Thumbs Up

Debra,
David is only talking about functional testing, which is typically performed after construction is substantially complete (hopefully, but not always realistically before occupancy).
Not sure what part of the Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. you are concerned about not being complete by 75% Construction Completion.

"3) Develop and incorporate commissioning requirements into the construction documents. 4) Develop and implement a commissioning plan." - These should be complete prior to your 75% Construction Completion.

But the last two tasks can't be complete unit close to or after 100% Construction Completion: "5) Verify the installation and performance of the systems to be commissioned. 6) Complete a summary commissioning report."

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Rebecca Molldrem Project Manager JLG Architects
Apr 13 2011
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229 Thumbs Up

Two commisioning authorities?

We have a project where a Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. authority was contracted for the conventional building systems. Later in the project, the owner received a grant to add renewables. The Cx authority noted in his final submittal documentation that the renewables were not included with his submittal, as commissioning for them would be performed under a separate contract. That separate contract is really an Owner staff member who took care if installation inspection, systems performance, etc.

However, he has not commissioned anything for LEED and is unfamiliar with the exact requirements. Regardless of whether he qualifies or not, I'm not sure if it would be better for him for LEED purposes to create his own separate commissioning plan or just do the reporting pieces and have that as an item in the appendix to the main Commissioning Authorities report.

Thoughts? Supplement or indepent plan and report?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 12 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Rebecca, it's hard to know what the better product would be, and how LEED will look at it. But to my mind, the more straightforward approach would be the supplementary report.

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Armen Khachikyan
Feb 15 2011
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865 Thumbs Up

What anyone can say about

What anyone can say about commissioning of non-US projects?
We have a lot of questions and confusing moments:
1-shall we hire CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. who knows ASHRAE standards and protocols?
Since I've heard that all reports must be done like in US - but it is not written in Ref.guide as i see it. (Now our way is to take some templates from this site and other LEED sources and just do something similar by our local CxA)

2-what key issues/difficulties or extra work on EAp1 should be taken into account in International project? Please,share your experience.

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Leticia SooHoo Green Building Consultant soohoocity
Jul 14 2010
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910 Thumbs Up

Fundamental Cx for Healthcare - Building Envelope Cx required?

Does anyone know if Building Envelope Commissioning is required in the LEED for Healthcare system draft? It is listed in the GGHC v2.2 guide as a required system for Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included..

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Mark Meaders Sustainable Design Project Manager, HDR Architecture, Inc. Sep 14 2010 LEEDuser Member 910 Thumbs Up

Based on LEED for Healthcare 3rd Public Draft, building envelope commissioning is not listed as a required system under EAp1. However, under EAc3, you can achieve an additional point (for a total of 2 points) if you commission the building envelope in addition to the other requirements of EAc3.

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Amy Bechard
Jun 30 2010
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838 Thumbs Up

Reusing existing ductwork

We have a major renovation project and in a portion of the buidling we will be replacing rooftop units, but would like to re-use the existing ductwork. Is this allowed and how does it affect or not affect the commissioning process?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 30 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

Similar answer here to your similar question on EQp1. This happens frequently enough and I don't know of any specific obstacles. Simple integrate the existing equipment in with your commissioning plan. I would think you'd want to pay particular attention to making sure that the existing ductwork is in a state to function as expected—pressure test it, etc.

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